Dr Russell Davenport
Reader in Environmental Engineering, EPSRC Challenging Engineering Awardee
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5544
- Fax: +44 (0) 191 208 6502
- Personal Website: https://davenportlab.wordpress.com
- Address: School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences
Newcastle upon Tyne
Throughout my education and career, I have always been fascinated by the diversity and metabolic capabilities of microbes that are critical to sustaining many vital natural processes on Earth, some of which can be enhanced or managed for the benefit of humanity. The services microorganisms can provide are especially pertinent given the increasing anthropogenic pressures on the Earth system that threaten both environmental and human well-being. These pressures include chemical and nutrient pollution that affects soils, sediments and the water environment.
My research has therefore focussed on understanding relationships between microorganisms and the processes that they mediate, using a combination of quantitative molecular tools and modelling in natural and engineered environments. Such knowledge is critical for the prediction, management and mitigation of pollution in the environment, and naturally necessitates an interdisciplinary approach. I have largely applied this approach to engineered treatment systems and to regulatory hazard classification/risk assessments for manufactured chemicals.
I have extensive experience and expertise at the interface of environmental engineering, microbiology, and environmental risk assessment.
After gaining a first degree in microbiology, I worked for two years as a process engineer with a subsidiary of Yorkshire Water specialising in industrial wastewater treatment, including high-rate anaerobic biological systems. I first moved to Newcastle to complete an MSc in Industrial Biotechnology.
I then joined the School of Civil Engineering & Geosciences as a postdoctoral member of staff in 2000 after completing my PhD; one of the first in the UK to take advantage of the newly emerging quantitative molecular tools to gain an improved understanding of biological wastewater treatment. I was subsequently awarded an EPSRC Research Associate Industrial Secondment to Brixham Environmental Laboratory, AstraZeneca where I was based during 2002, which started my interest in the role of biodegradation in the fate, ecotoxicology and regulation of chemicals. On returning to the School in 2003 I became a School Research Fellow and was awarded an RCUK Academic Fellowship in 2007.
More recently, I won an EPSRC Challenging Engineering award in 2011, which officially makes me a Challenging Engineer, although I think this sends out the wrong message; I prefer to think that my chosen engineering subject is challenging and not me!
Roles and responsibilities
Member of the Health & Safety Committee
Biological Safety Officer
Environmental Engineering Research Web Co-ordinator
PhD Environmental Engineering, Dept. Civil Engineering (Newcastle University, 2000)
MSc (Distinction) Industrial Biotechnology, Dept. Microbiology (Newcastle University, 1994)
BSc (Hons) Microbiology (Leeds University, 1991)
Member of the International Water Association
Member of the Society for Applied Microbiology
I have 2 years’ experience at Esmil, Yorkshire Water in consultancy; design, commissioning and monitoring of wastewater treatment plants (WWTP), including upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactors; and the project management of design and build schemes.
In the last 16 years, I have provided research and molecular microbial ecological analysis expertise to the environmental and water industries including; AstraZeneca, Northumbrian Water Ltd., Severn Trent Water, Thames Water and Yorkshire Water.
Understanding the fate, especially biodegradation, of chemicals in natural environments and engineered biological treatment systems.
The development and application of molecular-based techniques for the quantification of bacteria, especially in relation to key functions.
The application of ecological theory, molecular measurement techniques and mathematical models to understand, predict and manipulate microbial communities in engineered treatment systems.
Member of the EPSRC Peer Review College
EPSRC Challenging Engineering Awardee (2011)
RCUK Academic Fellow (2007)
Invited speaker to European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals (ECETOC) Workshop on Persistence, Paris, France, 2012; one of only 3 academics invited to speak on the persistence of chemicals, their assessment and regulation, which included 8 leading international regulators
Invited advisro to European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) Long-term Research Initiative project Eco12 -Developing a set of reference chemicals for use in biodegradability tests for assessing the persistency of
Co-author of keynote paper at 8th IWA International Conference on Wetland Systems and Water Pollution Control in Arusha, Tanzania, from 16th-19th September, 2002.
Invited to European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals (ECETOC) Workshop on Biodegradation and Persistence, UK, 2007
Invited speaker at Sensors for Water Interest Group (SWIG), March 2006.
Invited session chair, Molecular Microbial Ecology Group (MMEG) Conference 2005, University of East Anglia
Invited speaker to EU COST624 Working Group 4 meetings for 2 years May 2001, June 2002.
Invited author of a review title ‘Abiotic Degradation’ for a technical guidance document for Brixham Environmental Laboratory (2002).
Invited book chapter on ‘Quantitative FISH; statistical methods for valid cell counting’, for Molecular Microbial Ecology Manual, Kluwer Publishing (2004).
Awarded with a EPSRC Research Associates Industrial Secondment (RAIS), spending 9 months at Brixham Environmental Laboratory, AstraZeneca (2002).
Runner-up, Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management, Young Authors Competition (1998).
Currently funded projects
EPSRC Impact Award (Newcastle University) - Mitigation of risks from emerging hazards: Integration of field training, energy-conserving waste treatment and next-generation sequencing technologies. Co-I, £27.8k
EPSRC Impact Award (with Durham University) - Promoting the use of next-generation sequence technologies for soil quality assessment and environmental monitoring. Co-I, £19.5k
EPSRC Challenging Engineering - Mitigating the risk of micopollutants in the environment. PI, £1.14M
BBSRC CASE award with AstraZeneca - The effect of chemical substance and inoculum characteristics on persistency. PI, £93k
EPSRC - Predicting the acclimatisation of microbial watewater treatment communities as a function of the environment, random immigration, births and deaths. Co-I, £647k
Cefic LRI (Eco11) - Towards rationally designed hazard, risk and persistency assessment: putting the "bio" back into ready biodegradability tests. PI, Euro399k
EPSRC - What is the true temperature limit for anaerobic treatment of domestic wastewater? Co-I, £655k
EPSRC Platform Grant - General and unifying concepts for wastewater treatment plant design. Co-I, £761k
EPSRC - The use of waste Mn oxides as contaminated land remediation products. Co-I, £92k
CEG8103 MSc Water Supply and Treatment (40% and module leader)
CEG8109 MSc Engineering Biology through Molecular Microbial Ecology (40% and module leader)
CEG8101 MSc Core Concepts in Environmental Engineering (3% contributor)
CEG8104 MSc Wastewater Engineering (20% contributor)
- Vignola M, Werner D, Wade MJ, Meynet P, Davenport RJ. Medium shapes the microbial community of water filters with implications for effluent quality. Water Research 2017, (ePub ahead of print).
- Petropoulos E, Dolfing J, Davenport RJ, Bowen EJ, Curtis TP. Developing cold-adapted biomass for the anaerobic treatment of domestic wastewater at low temperatures (4, 8 and 15 °C) with inocula from cold environments. Water Research 2017, 112, 100-109.
- Martin TJ, Snape JR, Bartram A, Robson A, Acharya K, Davenport RJ. Environmentally relevant inoculum concentrations improve the reliability of persistent assessments in biodegradation screening tests. Environmental Science and Technology 2017, 51(5), 3065-3073.
- Martin TJ, Goodhead AK, Acharya K, Head IM, Snape JR, Davenport RJ. High Throughput Biodegradation-Screening Test to Prioritize and Evaluate Chemical Biodegradability. Environmental Science and Technology 2017, 51(12), 7236-7244.
- Bushnaf KM, Mangse G, Meynet P, Davenport RJ, Cirpka OA, Werner D. Mechanisms of Distinct Activated Carbon and Biochar Amendment Effects on Petroleum Vapour Biofiltration in Soil. Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts 2017, (ePub ahead of print).
- Batista AMM, Meynet P, Garcia PPG, Costa SAV, Araujo JC, Davenport RJ, Werner D, MotaFilho CR. Microbiological safety of a small water distribution system: evaluating potentially pathogenic bacteria using advanced sequencing techniques. Water Science and Technology: Water Supply 2017, Epub ahead of print.
- Brown MR, Camézuli S, Davenport RJ, Petelenz-Kurdziel E, Øvreås L, Curtis TP. Flow cytometric quantification of viruses in activated sludge. Water Research 2015, 68, 414-422.
- Wade MJ, Curtis TP, Davenport RJ. Modelling Computational Resources for Next Generation Sequencing Bioinformatics Analysis of 16S rRNA Samples. arXiv, 2015. Available at: http://arxiv.org/abs/1503.02974.
- Meynet P, Head IM, Werner D, Davenport RJ. Re-evaluation of dioxygenase gene phylogeny for the development and validation of a quantitative assay for environmental aromatic hydrocarbon degraders. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 2015, 91(6), fiv049.
- Kowalczyk A, Martin TJ, Price OR, Snape JR, van Egmond RA, Finnegan CJ, Schafer H, Davenport RJ, Bending GD. Refinement of biodegradation tests methodologies and the proposed utility of new microbial ecology techniques. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 2015, 111, 9-22.
- McCann CM, Gray ND, Tourney J, Davenport RJ, Wade MJ, Finlay N, Hudson-Edwards KA, Johnson KL. Remediation of a historically Pb contaminated soil using a model natural Mn oxide waste. Chemosphere 2015, 138, 211-217.
- Baptista JDC, Lunn M, Davenport RJ, Swan DL, Read LF, Brown MR, Morais C, Curtis TP. Agreement between amoA Gene-Specific Quantitative PCR and Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization in the Measurement of Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacteria in Activated Sludge. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 2014, 80(19), 5901-5910.
- McCann CM, Gray ND, Tourney J, Davenport RJ, Wade M, Finlay N, Husdon-Edwards KA, Johnson KL. Natural MnOx wastes as a novel remediation technology for Pb contaminated soils. In: 247th ACS National Meeting and Exposition. 2014, Dallas, TX, USA: American Chemical Society.
- Meynet P, Moliterni E, Davenport RJ, Sloan WT, Camacho JV, Werner D. Predicting the effects of biochar on volatile petroleum hydrocarbon biodegradation and emanation from soil: A bacterial community finger-print analysis inferred modelling approach. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 2014, 68, 20-30.
- Goodhead AK, Head IM, Snape JR, Davenport RJ. Standard inocula preparations reduce the bacterial diversity and reliability of regulatory biodegradation tests. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 2014, 21(16), 9511-9521.
- Elazhari-Ali A, Singh AK, Davenport RJ, Head IM, Werner D. Biofuel components change the ecology of bacterial volatile petroleum hydrocarbon degradation in aerobic sandy soil. Environmental Pollution 2013, 173, 125-132.
- Bowen EJ, Dolfing J, Davenport RJ, Read FL, Curtis TP. Low temperature limitation of bioreactor sludge in anaerobic treatment of domestic wastewater. Water Science and Technology 2013, 69(5), 1004-1013.
- Pholchan MK, Baptista JDC, Davenport RJ, Sloan WT, Curtis TP. Microbial community assembly, theory and rare functions. Frontiers in Microbiology 2013, 4, 68.
- Ahammad SZ, Davenport RJ, Read LF, Gomes J, Sreekrishnan TR, Dolfing J. Rational immobilization of methanogens in high cell density bioreactors. RSC Advances 2013, 3(3), 774-781.
- Meynet P, Hale SE, Davenport RJ, Cornelissen G, Breedveld GD, Werner D. Effect of Activated Carbon Amendment on Bacterial Community Structure and Functions in a PAH Impacted Urban Soil. Environmental Science and Technology 2012, 46(9), 5057-5066.
- Eland LE, Davenport RJ, Mota CR. Evaluation of DNA extraction methods for freshwater eukaryotic microalgae. Water Research 2012, 46(16), 5355-5364.
- Quince C, Lanzen A, Davenport RJ, Turnbaugh PJ. Removing Noise From Pyrosequenced Amplicons. BMC Bioinformatics 2011, 12(1), 38.
- Hale SE, Meynet P, Davenport RJ, Jones DM, Werner D. Changes in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon availability in River Tyne sediment following bioremediation treatments or activated carbon amendment. Water Research 2010, 44(15), 4529-4536.
- Valero MAC, Read LF, Mara DD, Newton RJ, Curtis TP, Davenport RJ. Nitrification-denitrification in waste stabilisation ponds: a mechanism for permanent nitrogen removal in maturation ponds. Water Science and Technology 2010, 61(5), 1137-1146.
- Pholchan MK, Baptista JD, Davenport RJ, Curtis TP. Systematic study of the effect of operating variables on reactor performance and microbial diversity in laboratory-scale activated sludge reactors. Water Research 2010, 44(5), 1341-1352.
- Quince C, Lanzen A, Curtis TP, Davenport RJ, Hall N, Head IM, Read LF, Sloan WT. Accurate determination of microbial diversity from 454 pyrosequencing data. Nature Methods 2009, 6(9), 639-641.
- Davenport RJ, Pickering RL, Goodhead AK, Curtis TP. A universal threshold concept for hydrophobic mycolata in activated sludge foaming. Water Research 2008, 42(13), 3446-3454.
- Tourney J, Dowding C, Worrall F, McCann C, Gray N, Davenport R, Johnson K. Mn oxide as a contaminated-land remediation product. Mineralogical Magazine 2008, 72(1), 513-513(1).
- Milner MG, Curtis TP, Davenport RJ. Presence and activity of ammonia-oxidising bacteria detected amongst the overall bacterial diversity along a physico-chemical gradient of a nitrifying wastewater treatment plant. Water Research 2008, 42(12), 2863-2872.
- Baptista JDC, Davenport RJ, Donnelly T, Curtis TP. The microbial diversity of laboratory-scale wetlands appears to be randomly assembled. Water Research 2008, 42(12), 3182-3190.
- Coskuner G, Ballinger SJ, Davenport RJ, Pickering RL, Solera R, Head IM, Curtis TP. Agreement between theory and measurement in quantification of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 2005, 71(10), 6325-6334.
- Rowan AK, Davenport RJ, Snape JR, Fearnside D, Barer MR, Curtis TP, Head IM. Development of a rapid assay for determining the relative abundance of bacteria. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 2005, 71(12), 8481-8490.
- Davenport RJ, Che-Man HB. Quantification of specific microbial populations in wastewater treatment plants in relation to process function. In: Proceedings of the Third Chartered Institute for Water and Environmental Management National Conference. 2005, Bretton Hall, Wakefield.
- Davenport RJ, Curtis TP. Quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH): statistical methods for valid cell counting. In: Kowalchuk, GA; de Bruijn, FJ; Head, IM; Akkermans AD; van Elsas, JD, ed. Molecular Microbial Ecology Manual. Dordrecht; London: Kluwer Academic, 2004, pp.1487-1516.
- Baptista JDC, Donnelly T, Rayne D, Davenport RJ. Microbial mechanisms of carbon removal in subsurface flow wetlands. Water Science and Technology 2003, 48(5), 127-134.
- Davenport RJ, Curtis TP. Are filamentous mycolata important in foaming?. Water Science and Technology 2002, 46(1-2), 529-533.
- Baptista JDC, Donnelly T, Rayne D, Davenport RJ. Carbon removal mechanisms in subsurface flow wetlands. Water Intelligence Online 2002, 1(7).
- Davenport RJ, Curtis TP, Goodfellow M, Stainsby FM, Bingley M. Quantitative use of fluorescent in situ hybridization to examine relationships between mycolic acid-containing actinomycetes and foaming in activated sludge plants. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 2000, 66(3), 1158-1166.
- Davenport RJ, Elliott JN, Curtis TP, Upton J. In situ detection of rhodococci associated with activated sludge foams. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 1998, 74(1-3), 41-48.
- Goodfellow M, Stainsby FM, Davenport R, Chun JS, Curtis TP. Activated sludge foaming: The true extent of actinomycete diversity. Water Science and Technology 1998, 37(4-5), 511-519.
- Goodfellow M, Davenport R, Stainsby FM, Curtis TP. Actinomycete diversity associated with foaming in activated sludge plants. Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology 1996, 17(3-4), 268-280.